Homeland Security Degree
What is homeland security?
Homeland Security can refer to the United States Cabinet department or a general term regarding the protection of the United States. There are many entities that fall under the umbrella of the Department of Homeland Security: Domestic Nuclear Detection office, Transportation Security Administration, United States Customs and Border Protection, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement, United States Coast Guard, Federal Emergency Management Agency, and United States Secret Service. There are many ways to enter into any of these fields. A new path that has started to emerge is obtaining a homeland security degree.
Where can I get a Homeland Security Degree?
A homeland security degree is a fairly new degree being offered by colleges across the country. There are on campus programs as well as online (or distant learning) programs. Some schools may not offer a homeland security degree, but generally offer other degrees that will help you get into the homeland security field. Some schools offer other degrees with specific focus on homeland security; like a degree in criminal justice with focus on homeland security. If you do a search for homeland security degree on the internet you will find many options. They range from Embry Riddle to Penn State to American Military University.
What courses do I have to take to earn a Homeland Security Degree?
There are many courses and topics that will be covered when pursuing this degree. The content will be around general management skills, emergency and disaster management, risk prevention and management, counter-terrorism, consequence management, consequence mitigation, terrorism study, law and policy, intelligence and counter-intelligence, strategic planning and risk analysis, transportations security, information technology, and criminal justice. Many of the courses are still being fine-tuned or changing as the need for homeland security changes and adapts to the current atmosphere. You should expect to do a lot of research, study security theories, and work in teams while taking these courses. Don’t expect a lot of hands-on training while in school.
How do I pay for my Homeland Security Degree?
There is a lot of exciting opportunities within homeland security and there are many areas to choose from. You have the enthusiasm and interest to pursue this career, so how do you pay for it? There are a few ways to help you pay for school if you can’t afford it on your own. There are grants and scholarships available. Some of these could be specific to a homeland security degree or a similar degree. Some are national scholarship offered by organizations or the government. Some could be offered by private foundations for a specific school. There are many scholarships out there; you just have to do the research. If aren’t eligible for a scholarship then private student loans are another option. There are many student loans offered by the government and many private financial institutions. Student loans generally have a low interest rate and repayment terms can be spread out over a longer period of time than normal, private loans.
What can I expect after receiving my Homeland Security Degree?
After you receive your homeland security degree there are many agencies you can apply for. Focusing on a specific area while in school will help you to decide which agency you would want to apply for. If you took many courses in information technology then you might want to apply for a position in intelligence, cyber-security, or counter-terrorism. If you focused on management then you might want to apply for a position in the Federal Emergency Management Agency. If you were more into law enforcement then you apply for the Secret Service or Immigration and Customs Enforcement. The average salary for a position within the Department of Homeland Security is around $54,000. The salary varies depending on what agency you are in, experience, and what level you are at. Some average salaries for positions in homeland security are border patrol agent – $64,000; program analyst – $64,000; transportation security officer – $30,000; mission support specialist – $48,000; and contract specialist – $55,000. As you can see the salaries and types of position vary greatly. You can go directly to the Department of Homeland Security website to search and apply for a job. They have a career link that shows you what job experience levels they are looking for, what opportunities are available, benefits that they offer, and how to apply. You can also apply directly to one of the agencies under the DHS.